Numbers are thrown around



a lot in government. A million



here, a million there Ö $65,000



paid for this study or that



proposal.



We are desensitized to the big



numbers, like a kid playing too



many violent video games. Weíve



seen it before, weíve heard it



before and it just doesnít hurt as



much as it used to.



Perhaps that is the theory



behind the decision of our county



commissioners to not even



consider a million dollarís worth



of free property in East Milton



for a judicial site/courthouse. Itís



not even on the list of proposed



sites.



Itís not very prestigious, you



know, building in East Milton. It



would present a better showing



to outsiders if they could buzz



down the interstate, make a



single turn and be there in a few



minutes.



Oh. Wait. That is true for



Highway 90 in East Milton and



Avalon Boulevard.



Though Avalon does present



a straight shot up from the south



end of the county, people who



choose to go that way are going



to be forced to pay a toll on the



Garcon Point Bridge.



People who take State Road



87 from Navarre also have a



straight shot up a northbound



corridor to the East Milton site,



but without a toll.



Avalon Boulevard traffi c is



already heavy. It took so many



years for the widening of that



road to begin, this county almost



outgrew it before construction



started. Adding courthouse



traffi c to that area will benefi t no



one. Because the primary paths



for travel to Pensacola from Pace



are Highway 90, westbound or



south on Avalon to the interstate,



those roads already see a lot of



traffi c. Adding a judicial center



ó and the traffi c it will bring



ó simply does not make sense.



By comparison, placing the



judicial center near the jail



in East Milton keeps traffi c



involving inmates from even



entering Milton or using



Highway 90 to pass through busy



areas between downtown and



Avalon Boulevard.



Inmates going from the



jail to a judicial center built



on Avalon could be taken onto



the interstate and then north



on Avalon, but again, that just



increases the traffi c load of



people heading into Milton or



Pace from Interstate 10 ó and



for those who live there.



Two of the county



commissioners have a personal



interest in the development



of Avalon Boulevard and have



recused themselves from



discussion. That is all well and



good, but the truth is, a judicial



center/courthouse built at a



location along Avalon is likely to



increase property values.



It is really East Milton that



needs to see that happen. We



have romanced businesses to



come to our Industrial Park; our



county fair is there; and now a



new East Milton Agricultural



Center is having its grand



opening. Itís good enough for



all of that activity but not for a



courthouse?



This is free property valued



at a million dollars. It is located



at a site that has just as many



positives as an Avalon Boulevard



site.



Itís really a no-brainer.